Tag Archives | Scrapbooking Techniques & Tips

Word Art 101


Back in the day I used to write a weekly newsletter where I would send out free word art designs for you to use in your scrapbook layouts or your cards.

My Word Art tended to be quite eclectic, on many different topics but it was very much in my own style.

Since then I’ve had lots of enquiries about Word Art and whether I’ll be doing any more.

I probably will but until I do here’s some free word art from the archives for you to download.

And when you’re done, maybe you’d like to have a go at making your own.

Scroll down to the end and watch a short video that I made showing you how you can make your own Word Art.


Click on the Word Art to open the full size PNG file and then save it to your computer. That way you’ll get the high resolution version and not just the web sized image.

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Scrapbooking Tip: Printing on Shiny Paper

So I made this card for my niece’s wedding.

To be honest, I made it three times. How come things that look so simple end up being the hardest to do.

Anyway finally I had the card the way I wanted it and it was time to do the inside.

I decided to use the shiny finish paper that I had used on the front of the card as the inside panel and to print my sentiment and greeting on it. What I didn’t realise is that ink jet printer ink doesn’t dry well on shiny paper (unless it’s proper glossy printing paper). So every time I printed out my greeting it ended up smudging all over the place.

I was losing my patience with it when my friend Jackie (The Embossing Queen) suggested that I sprinkle clear embossing powder on my printed greeting and give it a whiz with the heat gun.

Result: Brilliant! As you can see here.

So that’s one printing tip that’s well worth remembering so you don’t end you wasting sheets of your best shiny paper.

And another suggestion is not to use the ‘best’ setting on your printer. I would normally always choose the ‘best’ setting when printing on shiny photo paper but it doesn’t give good results when printing on shiny paper that’s not designed for printing on. Just use your normal setting and you’ll get a much crisper print. And once you do the clear embossing it really stands out.

Hope you find this tip useful. If so, please share it with others using the share button thingy on the side of the screen.

And if you have some handy printing tips of your own please share them here in the comments.

Scrapbook Overlays

Garden Party Digital Scrapbook Freebie

Digital scrapbook overlays are one of the most versatile elements you can use.

They can take a plain paper and dress it up.

They can add a whole new level of dimension to a layout

They can help to unify and ground your scrapbook  layout design by providing an all round border.

They can be blended using the blending mode function in your graphics editing software to create heaps of different looks.

The list goes on. But I think you probably get the idea.

I like scrapbook overlays.

So I was a bit surprised when I discovered that I hadn’t included one in the Free Garden Party Mega Kit (if you’re not a member of  The Garden Party you can see what it’s about here).

… until now.

Click on the image to download

Don’t know how to use it?

Well here are some ideas

First drag the overlay onto your layout. (Tip: Hold the control key down whilst you drag. You’ll keep a better grip on it that way.)

  • You can recolor it by using the change color function in your software (Enhance>Adjust Color>Adjust Hue.Saturation in Photoshop Elements).
  • You can adjust the opacity to make it a softer border.
  • You can add a shadow to give it some extra dimension.
  • You can play with the blending modes in your software to change the look and feel of it. In the scrapbook layout below I’ve used the Luminosity blending mode to get this soft look.

  • You can do various combinations of the above. You might find that some actions will cancel out others. For example if you add a shadow after you’ve chosen a blending mode your overlay will revert back to Normal. Add your shadow first and then add the blending mode.
  • You can drag it down to the size of your photo and sit it on top to make a soft translucent frame.

And if you’ve never used overlays before I have a couple of video tutorials that will give you step by step help as well as showing you lots of other cool digital scrapbooking techniques. You can check them out here: Intermediate Tutorial 3 and Advanced Tutorial 4

They each come with their own complimentary digital scrapbooking kit which includes at least one overlay.

I hope you enjoy playing with the Garden Party Overlay. And please do upload a copy of any scrapbook layouts or cards that you make with it to the Garden Party Facebook Page.

Let me know what you think. And please share this on Facebook or Twitter or wherever you talk with other scrapbookers.

How to Make an AZZA Scrapbook template

I’ve written before about AZZA scrapbooking. You might remember it’s a European style of scrapbooking which uses very few embellishments. The design of the AZZA scrapbook layout is based on creatively cropping your photos.

To do this you often have to buy special AZZA scrapbooking templates which you can place over your photos to help you cut them into the design you want. And these templates can be quite expensive.  Plus, let’s face it, you don’t want all your scrapbook layouts to have the same look to them, so you’ll need to buy quite a few templates to give yourself a variety of choice.

But there’s actually another way you can do this.

I’ve been using the AZZA scrapbooking style to create a digital scrapbook album of a trip I took a couple of years ago. And it lends itself brilliantly to digital scrapbooking.

But if you’re a paper scrapbooker you can use this idea too.

Make your own AZZA scrapbook templates.

Now if you have a photo editing software program such as Photoshop Elements (or Paintshop Pro, or Photoshop or any of the other programs that let you work with layers) you can do this easily:

  1. Open a file in your editing program that’s the same size as your scrapbook page. I suggest you make the resolution 200-300 pixels per inch for good quality printing. I usually go for 300ppi.
  2. Now create a new blank layer and fill it with a color. The color doesn’t matter so any one will do.
  3. Go to you cookie cutter tool and select a shape that you want to use for your AZZA design. It might be a diamond, a star, a hexagon. Whatever.
  4. Drag the cursor across your colored layer and release when it’s the sort of size you want.
  5. Now you can duplicate the layers; move the shapes around; change some of the sizes on the shapes; or follow the above steps to add a complementary shape and just play around until you have a design that you like.
  6. So now you bring your photos on to the file and position each photo layer directly over a shape. You can do this by dragging the layers around in the Layers Palette
  7. Go to the Opacity Slider in the Layers Palette and reduce the opacity of the photo so you can see the shape behind it.
  8. You can drag the photo to reduce its size so it better fit the shape you have created or you can position it so your crop only includes what you want.
  9. When you’re happy with the positioning of your photo bring the opacity back up to 100%.
  10. Now click on the photo layer in the Layers Palette and crop it to the shape underneath it using the clipping mask. Ctrl+E should do it. If you’ve made a mistake just Ctrl+Z will step you back.

Now all you have to do is print out your pre-shaped photos and cut them out. I suggest you open a new file in a paper size that your printer accepts (eg. A4 or Letter) and the same resolution as your other file. And then drag your shaped photos onto it, print (best quality) on good photo paper and cut out.

Job done.

By shaping your photos this way you can create as many different shaped templates as you like at no cost. Plus you can make sure that you get the best parts of your photos into the shapes regardless of the size.

And if you save each template as a layered file then you can use them and modify them over and over again.

If you need some extra help in creating your own digital templates pop over to Step by Step Digital Scrapbooking and check out Intermediate Tutorial 11 (you’ll find it at the bottom of the page). This tutorial will show you how to do a number of  techniques including how to make a digital template using one of your favorite scrapbook layouts as a base.

Other related articles:

Azza Scrapbooking

Create Word Art Yourself

How to Digital Scrapbook – from Soup to Nuts


10 Speedy Scrapbook Ideas

We all get those ‘no mojo’ days don’t we? Hey sometimes it’s more like ‘no mojo’ weeks even.

So here are ten speedy scrapbooking ideas which I hope will intrigue and inspire you and maybe just kick start that mojo again.

  1. Attach a transparent sheet over your photo with a couple of brads and doodle onto the sheet with marker pens to dress up your photo without accidentally ruining it.
  2. Layer a couple of scrap ends from your ribbons over each other at right angles to make funky casual photo corners. You can dress them up even more with brads or flowers to make a great corner accent for your photo.

    This scrapbook layout is from the Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Intermediate Tutorial 5

  3. Let your journaling flow onto your photos where there is a blank space on the photo. This will help to anchor both the journaling and the photo.
  4. Use your computer to create unique and funky titles instead of buying alphabets. If you have photo editing software you can apply interesting styles and filters to the letters but even in Word you can dress them up or use the Word Art feature. Print out your title and add embellishments and you’re done. It’s best to choose a chunky style font for your titles. Check out my Downloading and Installing Fonts video to show you how easy it is to get a collection of free fonts.
  5. Use your kids words to create the inspiration for your scrapbook layout. Ask them what their memories of an event were and use their words as your title to create your journaling.
  6. Make your own rub-ons by printing your design onto a transparent sheet using your home computer. You can read how to do it here.
  7. Make the key words and phrases in your journaling stand out to add visual interest and emphasis. If you print your journaling use the bold feature on your key words or change the font and font-size for those words. If you hand write your journaling choose a different color for your key words or print them in upper case. You can use a highlighter to make them stand out and even a simple underline will add emphasis.

    This Scrapbook layout is from Step by Step Digital Scrapbook Tutorials – Intermediate 6

  8. Run a piece of sand paper lightly over the top of embossed paper to make the pattern really stand out. It also gives the paper a slightly vintage or grungy look.
  9. Make multiple copies of your focal photo and fan them out slightly behind it. This makes a lovely matt to frame your photo. It looks good if you print the matt photos in monochrome and leave the top one in color.
  10. Try out a completely different style of scrapbooking than you’re used to. If you’re a simple scrapbooker try using lots of embellishments, If you’re a collage scrapbooker try making a minimalist layout. If you usually only use one photo on a scrapbook layout try making one with multiple photos. I became interested in the AZZA scrapbooking style and tried out making an album of a trip down the Rhine River using this style. I found focussing on learning a new scrapbooking style really helped me kick off my mojo meltdown.